Eleventh Annual Theatre Festival 2007

Belmont, CA, August 9, 2007 — Dedicated to providing a theatrical venue for local talent and alumni, Notre Dame de Namur University’s Theatre Arts and Dance Department will present several provocative plays during their “Eleventh Annual NDNU Theatre Festival 2007,” August 24-Sept. 1.

The festival includes five plays all directed by NDNU faculty, alumni, and students. Performances range from an interpretation of the nature and meaning of our 43rd president in “Aliens Stole Bush’s Brain,” to “In A Moment’s Notice,” written and directed by NDNU faculty member Hester Schell, a story about a young man, given up for adoption at birth, who finds his birth mother, as another woman meets her long-lost father for the first time…whether to connect with family or move on is decided. “Aliens Stole Bush’s Brain” will show Aug. 29, 31, and Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. “In A Moment’s Notice” will premiere Aug. 29, 30, and Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

The festival will also feature “Marriage with Benefits,” a collection of 15 short comedy vignettes based on actual events and observations from the playwright’s lives, all held together with a clever storyline. Showtimes are Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

“The NDNU Theatre Festival has evolved from a very eclectic fringe festival of the performing arts to a high powered showcase of NDNU theatre artists,” said Michael B. Elkins, Chair of NDNU’s Theatre Arts Department. “The festival continues to include original plays, written by faculty and students, and the pieces are all are directed by current faculty, students, and alums, allowing them to stage and perform original works.”

The theatrical weekend also features “La Ofrenda,” written by Jose Casas, and directed by R. Dutch Fritz. The storyline begins with nine-year-old Alex who is traumatized and set adrift when both his parents die in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.  His grandmother, Maria, reeling from the loss of her beloved daughter, embraces Alex, and together they embark on a journey of grief and reward neither one of them could have prepared. Showtimes for “La Ofrenda” are August 30 at 7 p.m., and September 1 at 2 p.m.

The rivalry of two Elvis Presley fans determined to be the first to enter their fallen idols lavish estate will be explored in Ellen Byron’s “Graceland.” As the two women discuss the depth of their devotion to Elvis, they slowly reveal the sad and funny sides of their lives. Directed by NDNU alumna, Karen Byrnes, “Graceland” will be shown August 29, 31 at 7 p.m.

In “My Ticket to Hell” directed by NDNU graduate, Kirk Pierron, the audience will take a journey from medieval times to present day and back again with the play’s principal character, Erin, as he searches for eternal happiness.  Along the way he’ll encounter a dragon, Jesus, thugs, and of course a prince. Will he find what he has been looking for?  This production is a NDNU Theatre and Dance Department senior project for Kirk Pierron and has been entered for participation in the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival 2008.

Tickets cost $10 general admission or $20 for a festival pass to unlimited performances. For tickets and/or more information, call the NDNU Box Office at (650) 508-3456 or boxoffice@ndnu.edu.